Police draw guns, fire water canons on Hong Kong protesters

Aug. 25 (UPI) — Police in Hong Kong deployed water cannons and an officer fired a live shot into the air as violence erupted in the ongoing pro-democracy protests on Sunday.

New Territories South Regional Crime Headquarters Superintendent Leng Kwok-wing confirmed that a uniformed officer fired a shot, fearing that his life was in danger after protesters clashed with police and destroyed property during the 12th consecutive week of the protests.

Three officers were also seen drawing their guns and aiming them at protesters. No injuries were reported in relation to the firearm discharge.

A group of protesters separated from the main march on Sunday, using traffic cones and street railings to build barricades and throw bricks and petrol bombs at police.

Police deployed tear gas but failed to make the group disperse and later fired water cannons at the makeshift barricade.

Earlier Sunday, thousands of protesters marched from Kwai Ching to Tseun Wan amid a thunderstorm to reiterate their core demands and oppose reports of police brutality.

Police supporters held their own rally on Sunday, calling for communication between police and the public to “mend the broken relationship.”

Senior police officials said some officers had their personal data, including contact information and home addresses shared online and 16 people were arrested for disclosing personal data without consent, causing harm and unauthorized access to a computer.

Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam posted a statement on Facebook, calling for dialogue and an end to the protests.

“After two months everyone is tired. Can we sit down and talk about it?” she said.

The ongoing protests originally began in opposition to an extradition bill, but later expanded to include other societal issues, including speaking out against police brutality and calling for Lam’s resignation.